The end: Sears reportedly liquidating

The end: Sears reportedly liquidating

Sears on Tuesday had planned to tell the bankruptcy court it had rejected Lampert's $4.4 billion offer to buy the retailer, after it fell short of covering its bankruptcy expenses.

Sears Holdings filed for bankruptcy protection last October.

The bid called for keeping 425 stores open and offering jobs to 50,000 of its remaining employees. Sears stock is trading at 22 cents a share on the New York Stock Exchange.

In making his bid for what remains of Sears, former CEO and billionaire investor Lampert stipulated any deal would put him and ESL ahead of other creditors down the line, and would be financed with more debt than cash.

The creditors have argued that forgiveness of his debt should not be accepted as part of the bid, because Lampert loaned Sears the money when he was CEO.

Sears received another lifeline Tuesday when the company's chairman and largest shareholder promised to line up the necessary financing to keep the struggling department store chain afloat.

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Sears has failed to post positive same-store sales results since 2010, according to Retail Metrics data.

The iconic retailer gradually lost its shine, however, as consumers turned to e-commerce and brick-and-mortar rivals such as Walmart Inc and Target Corp.

The hemorrhaging picked up speed in the third quarter of 2016 when the company reported a net loss of $748 million, nearly double what it lost in the same quarter a year earlier.

The only problem was, there were a lot of them.

Sears' bankruptcy attorney said on Tuesday the retailer will move forward with its planned auction, set for January 14, averting liquidation plans that were supposed to be announced earlier in the day.

The Seritage deal as well as the sale of Lands' End are being investigated by the creditors' committee and are the subject of potential litigation against ESL and Lampert, who offered to pay $35 million to be absolved of allegations that ESL paid favorable prices to obtain the assets.

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